Lots of people mention pine needles for the garden but I have seen them work the last two years in my friends garden. He has two huge pine trees that are probably 30 years old. They were never trimmed and they was 18 inches of needles and brown compost under each tree. He cut them 6 foot high from the ground and put lots of the pine needsle in his 10 by 10 garden which I helped him with. he had the best peppers and tomatoes i ever saw!
+++ Pine needles give more than one advantage over other garden mulches! They cover the ground and keep the moisture in the soil while even keeping the ground cooler in the summer. They compose slowly and seem to keep the animals and slugs away because of their shapness! They even last several months before completely decomposing! When dug into the soil they airate it for months! The are slightly acid so tomatoe and straberrys love them! When I was in SC. this summer I was suprised that most f themusch around houses was long pine needles which is abundents in the south! and they sale it in bundles there ! Find a nice pine tree and get a wheelbarrow of mulch quick! I will also put some pine needles in the bottom of my seed starting boxes this year with a sprinkle of blood meal on top! They will probably heat my seed boxes up fast like they do in forest fires or those dead christmas trees!